Friday, October 21, 2011

NDEO Conference Day 1

Incredible first day at the conference--over 900 people in attendance. Saw my professor Kaye (from Akron U over 18 years ago) give a presentation with Brian (who I danced with in GroundWorks Dance Theater some 13 years ago).

Took a master jazz class with a group of incredible, masterful teachers: Karen, Thom, Patricia and Darwin. They were truly inspiring...and, my friend Billy (also one of our great living master jazz dance teachers) was in class with me.

Got to tap with Anita (I have used her book for years) in a workshop she presented on collaborating with a composer.

Attended a presentation by Yo-el who I had danced with in one of the 5x5 Dance Festivals (can’t remember if it was a NYC or CT one). He teaches modern for Boston Ballet School and was there with a researcher who demonstrated (experientially) a way to use research in dance education--specifically in the classroom.

After grabbing a quick bite to eat, I met up with a whole group of jazz dance educators at the hotel bar to discuss the issues that face that form. It was an interesting conversation. There is a consensus that we need to really embrace and continue to carry forward the torch for the roots and heritage of this uniquely American art form. However, there was a couple younger educators that are lost in the ‘contemporary confusion’ that I wrote about before (as it pertains to jazz dance).

I ran into my friends John-Mario, Mari, Alison, Luc, and Seth (UWM represent). The night ended with opening ceremonies...awards, dinner, a mass movement choir, and ended with Anita leading us in the Shim Sham. So much to digest, but for now I need to rest.